ECUA Board Approves Changes to Backflow Prevention Guidelines


Update- May 4, 2015

The ECUA Board took action at its regular monthly meeting on April 23 to address the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (FDEP) backflow prevention regulation.  Final approval from the FDEP is required before the following amendment takes effect.

By a 3-2 margin, the Board voted to amend Chapter 5 of the ECUA code to provide guidance to homeowners with an Auxiliary Water System on their property that is not connected to the ECUA public water system. Property owners will need to provide certification stating their Auxiliary Water System is not physically connected to the ECUA system, and provide a notarized statement that they have no intention of connecting the Auxiliary Water System to the ECUA potable water system in the future. 

For more information regarding backflow prevention, customers may call a special helpline at 969-3337.

 March 18, 2014

The Emerald Coast Utilities Authority (ECUA) Board voted Wednesday on a motion related to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Cross Connections Control Rule for Public Water Systems 62-555.360.  Among other things, this rule requires residences that have an auxiliary water supply (private well), to have an approved backflow prevention assembly (BPA) installed on their home’s supply lines, regardless of whether it is connected to the residential plumbing.

The motion was made by Ms. Vicki Campbell (ECUA District 1), seconded by Mr. Elvin McCorvey (ECUA District 3), as amended by Mr. Dale Perkins (ECUA District 4), passed 5-0, as follows:

(1) Request that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) reconsider its position that irrigation wells, which are not connected to residential plumbing systems, are nevertheless required to have backflow protection, and request that DEP issue a variance for such situations provided the customer provides at customer’s expense certification of no cross-connection;

(2) Allow ECUA customers to use dual-check backflow preventers where allowed by DEP rule, but recommend double-check backflow assemblies;

(3) Allow any residential customer regardless of connection type wanting to put on a backflow preventer without the ability to pay for the installation of that backflow preventer to have it put on at the ECUA’s expense and allow them to pay ECUA back in monthly installments over a period of time, up to three years under an existing ECUA financial program; and

(4) Allow customers to submit a notarized letter, affidavit, or other legal document to show entitlement to the requested variance instead of subsequent inspections.